The strange florescent lights flicker above my head. I’ve left the woman behind and am now a man. I’m not used to his slender body and lanky limbs on my soul. He covers me, threatens to drown me in him. But I’m not scared for me, I’m scared for him. Because I can feel his terror, left behind from before I took his place in this body. His mind has left images around in the head I now dwell. Images of things people shouldn’t see. Crazy things, from other lives. Some of them too strange for any boy to take on by himself. From the room décor, the blandness, and the many beds I can tell where we are- an asylum. Nineteen-Twenties possibly Thirties. That’s when nurse enters and removes the straps that tie me to the bed.
“You have a visitor Adam,” she says in a sweet voice, all the while watching my face for any reaction, “It’s your wife Adam.” She continued, but her voice seemed to get darker as she said the last bit. My wife? Suddenly images of my mother cooking my breakfast flash through my heart. Leaving scrapes and holes where they’ve been. The women I love. No, I tell myself, Adam’s wife. The women HE loves. The nurse nods her head at me once with a smile before hurrying out of the room. Then, without a moment in between, enters a women who in any other life would have intimidated me greatly. But in this one, with the memories of Adams swirling around still- I knew not to fear this woman but to instead despise her.
“Darling!” She said in a voice lovely enough to go with her gorgeous face but not with what was underneath. She leaned in, in a way as if to hug us- me, Adam. But stopped just before the contact was made and pulled back wearing a polite smile and sitting on the edge of my bed. “That nurse is a simple tomato isn’t she?” she whispered. Then her smile vanished and she leaned toward me, her mouth right beside my ear. “Let’s blouse, hun.” She whispered secretly to me “this joint is no fun!” I could hear her smile still by my face. For a second I wonder whether or not this really is Adam’s wife, and why does he tell me to despise her if she wants to get us out of here.
She must read the confusion on our face, “Why so frazzled?” she says with a question in her eyes. “Oh, you must just think I’m all balled up, or on junk, or some such. Seeing as I put you in here and all. Well, baby, they wouldn’t let me see you unless I told em I was your old lady, can you believe it?” She gasped. “But if you want out we better get a wiggle on it. No matter whether you think I’m some gold digger or not.” With that, she stood and walked to the door. Once there she turned and eyed me expectantly.
“Oh futz, fella,” she whined “don’t make your fire bell beg.” Fire bell? What did it mean? Mine, did she mean she was mine? Quite possibly, my wife? Lover? The thought made my stomach swell. Hearing her talk I couldn’t think of any reason to despise her. I’d learned that love is for the soul only, that her skin did not matter. But, contrary to what Adam may think, her soul shimmered to me. And her appearance was the first thing to appeal to me in quite a while. Intrigued, I got up to follow her. Stopping beside her at the door. Her hand resting on the handle but not moving to open it, her eyes following me.
When I got there she leaned forward and lightly kissed our cheek. “Alright then big six let’s get lost!” Then she opened the door and took our hand in hers in one movement, before leading Adam and me to the exit, dodging – ungracefully- the workers. It’s strange then, how Adam felt still present. I could feel Adam begin to forgive her- just a little.
We are almost to the exit and she looks at me grinning, as we sprint towards the door giggling. Both lost in each other and our child-like fun. Finally we are there and she pushes it open ahead of me. We burst out into the world. But the moment the door opens, the sun brightens, blinds me. And I’m gone. Leaving me wondering: what happens next?